After a smashing career in the boxing world, Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) has hung up his gloves and is currently living a retired life. He resides with his wife, Bianca (Tessa Thompson), and his young daughter, Amara (Mila Davis-Kent). Each day, Adonis mentors and oversees many new and upcoming boxers who may carry the same potential he once did.
However, Adonis’s world is about to be shaken when someone from the past re-enters his life. Damien (Jonathan Majors) was once a childhood friend, and the two share a dark secret that has never seen the light of day until now. Damien is also a boxer filled with desires to show the world what he is made of and wants his moment in the ring. Adonis attempts to help and support his goals and dreams, given their past together and Damien’s brokenness from being in jail and serving time. However, things between Adonis and Damien only become more tense, dramatic, and hurtful, and the pair will soon accept that the only way for them to move forward is to battle it out in the ring and settle once and for all who the champ is.
“Creed III” is, in fact, a sequel that continues from “Creed II,” which was released in 2018. Here, we are introduced to a moment of Adonis’s life that we knew nothing about until now: his childhood. It’s a great extension of the character we’ve loved from the previous films and taps into a moment of pain and suffering haunting him for a long time. Naturally, such a topic comes with great themes and messages about past hurts, moving forward, and forgiveness. Sadly, while this film is a continuation built from the “Rocky” franchise, actor Sylvester Stallone is not in this film whatsoever. I can’t deny it; his presence is dearly missed, and it’s the first time the character has not been present in the series.
While the story explores new territory, the pacing and structure feel safe and familiar and contain moments that are also predictable, including the film’s outcomes before they occur. The film’s style here is different thanks to Michael B. Jordan, as this is also his directorial debut. The best changes we see here are the boxing scenes in the ring. There are exciting action moments that are slowed down with creative camera angles and shots, which are welcome, exciting, and enjoyable to see. Performance-wise, Michael B. Jordan is, again, excellent here. I enjoyed the introduction of his new nemesis, played by Jonathan Majors, who successfully portrays a dangerous character due to his extreme pain, hurt, anger, and long suffering.
Overall, with great performances, including Michael B. Jordan and a welcoming new presence from actor Jonathan Majors, “Creed III” packs a solid punch. Visually, a few changes feel upbeat, modern, and refreshing. The story here is enjoyable, but it also felt safe and, for the most part, highly predictable, including the film’s showdown. Like many “Rocky” fans, I’m also on the same bandwagon that I missed the presence of actor Sylvester Stallone here immensely, and it feels slightly odd without him; still, it’s a worthy instalment, and the series remains highly enjoyable.